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Fifth and Sixth at NCAAs

Nov 20, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Stanford was the only program to place both teams among the top six at the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday.

With Charles Hicks racing to fourth place, the Stanford men were fifth. And Julia Heymach, in 13th, led the Cardinal women to sixth at Apalachee Regional Park. This marked the sixth consecutive season that the Stanford men's and women's teams both placed among the top six. And, for the men, this was their 20th top-five NCAA finish. 

Both teams finished above their rankings. The women came in at No. 16 by the USTFCCCA and as late as Nov. 2, they were ranked No. 26. The men entered at No. 7. 

Hicks, the Pac-12 champion, earned the highest Stanford finish at this meet since Grant Fisher was second in 2018. Hicks finished the 10-kilometer (6.21-mile) race in 28:47.2 – 14 seconds behind winner Connor Mantz of BYU. Ky Robinson was next for Stanford, placing 14th in 29:15.7, to earn his first cross-country All-America honor. 

Heymach, the NCAA West Region champion, covered the women's 6K (3.73-mile) course in 19:41.9 – 16 seconds behind winner Brittni Orton of BYU. Heymach matched her place from last season and earned her second cross-country All-America honor and fifth overall. 

Six of Stanford's seven women earned or matched their highest NCAA finishes, including true freshmen Audrey Suarez (103rd) and Audrey DaDamio (210th). The only exception was sixth-year Christina Aragon, whose 57th place was her highest since 2016.

The men's race developed with Stanford hovering around the eighth or ninth position most of the time, until moving up two spots over the final kilometer. Devin Hart, who finished as Stanford's No. 3 in 80th place, was the Cardinal's biggest mover, improving 14 places over the final kilometer. Cole Sprout (81st) and Callum Bolger (123rd) moved up nine spots each.

Hicks held firm in the front pack through 7 kilometers, but fell slightly back as Mantz, Iowa State's Wesley Kiptoo, and Campbell's Athanas Kioko pushed the pace with a little more than 2K left. Hicks was left in a three-man chase pack, but moved past both Morgan Beadlescomb of Michigan State and Adriaan Wildschutt of Florida State over the final kilometer to secure fourth – a 10-place improvement over last season. 

Hicks, a junior academically, remains a freshman in eligibility, as are Stanford's top four runners – Hicks, Robinson, Hart, and Sprout. 


Julia Heymach. Photo by Chuck Aragon.
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NCAA Championships
At Apalachee Regional Park, Tallahassee, Fla.

Men (10K, 6.21 mile)
Team leaders – 1, Northern Arizona 92; 2, Iowa State 137; 3, Oklahoma State 186; 4, Arkansas 195; 5, Stanford 236; 6, Tulsa 237; 7, BYU 246; 8, Colorado 249; 9, Notre Dame 290; 10, Wake Forest 356.
Winner and Stanford – 1, Connor Mantz (BYU) 28:33.1; 4, Charles Hicks (Stanford) 28:47.2; 14, Ky Robinson (Stanford) 29:15.7; 80, Devin Hart (Stanford) 30:02.4; 81, Cole Sprout (Stanford) 30:03.3; 94, Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau (Stanford) 30:07.1; 123, Callum Bolger (Stanford) 30:22.1; 193, DJ Principe (Stanford) 31:05.7.

Women (6K, 3.73 miles)
Team leaders
– 1, North Carolina State 84; 2, BYU 122; 3, New Mexico 130; 4, Colorado 187; 5, Notre Dame 215; 6, Stanford 233; 7, Minnesota 313; 8, Arkansas 328; 9, Iowa State 332; 10, Mississippi 350.
Winner and Stanford – 1, Whittni Orton (BYU) 19:25.4; 13, Julia Heymach (Stanford) 19:41.9; 49, Lucy Jenks (Stanford) 20:04.1; 57, Christina Aragon (Stanford) 20:11.6; 63, Zofia Dudek (Stanford) 20:14.6; 103, Audrey Suarez (Stanford) 20:31.3; 159, Grace Connolly (Stanford) 20:51.1; 210, Audrey DaDamio (Stanford) 21:19.1.